7.22.2014

Summer Solos, Part 2: Debra Ramsay

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When is a walk in the woods not just a walk in the woods? When Debra Ramsay records each color she sees. The tangible result of such a walk is at Hansel and Gretel Picture Garden/Pocket Utopia in Chelsea, up through August 1.

Debra Ramsay's window installation on West 22nd Street


A walk in the woods, repeated seasonally as the colors change, is transposed into a grid of 72 silk squares, each painted with a hue from nature. There is a bit of the prayer flag about them, which seems entirely appropriate, allowing us to acknowledge something larger than ourselves. That we view them from a city sidewalk is not so much ironic as it is connective, a way to bring the experience to us (or us to the experience)


Two details from the installation



View from the High Line: Ramsay posted this on her Facebook page, and I knew I had to share it with you here

7.20.2014

Summer Solos, Part 1: Brenda Goodman


This is the first in a series of current and recent solo exhibitions around the region. We start with the painter's painter, Brenda Goodman, at the John Davis Gallery in Hudson, New York. The exhibition, which opened last night, is up through August 10.

Brenda Goodman color coordinating with one of her small paintings on paper

The title of Goodman's new solo is called simply Brenda Goodman: Painting. Personally, I think it should be called Seeing the Light. After a dark period in her life, including the death of her partner's middle-aged son--which resulted in a series of somber and powerful paintings--Goodman has emerged a new woman. She's happy, 70 pounds lighter, and painting with a palette which, if not out-and-out joyous, embraces color and light. Light is indeed a leitmotif.

"My work has always reflected and expressed my internal life and, like myself, I feel the new paintings are bold, bright, animated, and confident,” she writes in her statement about the show. In a visit to the gallery a few days before the opening I found her almost giddy as she showed me around.



The show is on two levels. This is the view of the wall opposite where Goodman was standing

Below: full-on view of Knot, 2013, oil on wood, 80 x 72 inches


Goodman's signature elements remain--the abstracted figures, often with enormous heads atop tiny bodies; the succulently built-up surfaces; and the sense of mysterious narrative--but there are some new elements, too. For instance, instead of the dark, undefined space of her earlier works, there's a sense of architecture. And there's a knotted red shape, a presence, that dominates two of the large paintings. I like the relationship it has to the figures, particularly when it issues what appears to be a beam of yellow light. Convoluted thoughts? Difficult issues? Intestines? I ask. She doesn't say. That's OK. I'll continue to see how it develops. In the meantime, there's a lot to digest.


On the wall opposite the entry: Painted Pony, 2013, oil on wood, 52 x 48 inches

The stairs down to the garden level are to the left. Let's descend . . .

Guardian, left; Talkin at Me


Full-on view of Talkin at Me, with that beam of yellow light

Below: the built up surface, a rich, dense, luminous mass of hues constituting the black head of the figure at left in the painting above


Talkin at Me, left; Brush

You can see images from the entire show here, including--full disclosure--the one I acquired for my own collection: 


Get-A-Way, 2014, oil on paper, 6 x 8 inches

6.29.2014

Summer Invitational at Elizabeth Harris

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Update, July 11 Read review by Peter Malone for Hyperallergic

A packed house

Summer is a great time to see expansive shows with broad-ranging themes. Galleries often invite artists from outside their roster, and the openings are typically big, loud, and jam-packed with friends and colleagues. Over the next couple of weeks, I'll post views of several summer exhibitions in Manhattan and Brooklyn. I've already shown you To Leo, A Tribute From American Abstract Artists  at Sideshow in Williamsburg. I consider that a walk-through, as I'm in the show, and that's the case with the Summer Invitational at Elizabeth Harris Gallery in Chelsea. Take a look.

Color, geometry, skewed or layered planes, and often a material sensibility unite the work of five artists: Rick Klauber, Paul Mogensen, Gary Petersen, Sarah Walker, and myself. Here's a tour of the front gallery in three shots
Four paintings by Gary Petersen . . .


. . . leading to six small paintings by Sarah Walker (five of which are visible here) . . .

. . . leading to four of my paintings
Specifics follow, as well as a tour of the second gallery


Gary Petersen, Day Tripper, 2014, acrylic and oil on canvas


Sarah Walker, Keystone, 2008, acrylic on panel

Below: Prospect and Refuge, 2008, acrylic on panel


Sarah Walker, Offset Transition, 2008, acrylic on panel, shown above and below left

Foreground: Superself II, 2008, acrylic on panel, shown below in full-on view



Continuing around the gallery: my Chromatic Geometry 13, left; three on the far wall shown in closeup below . . . 

Chromatic Geometry  7, 2013, encaustic on panel

Chromatic Geometry 18, 2013

Chromatic Geometry 21, 2014


We return to the wall with Gary Petersen's work . . .

. . . and Nothing Else To Do, 2014, acrylic, ink and oil on masonite, shown at far left . . .


. . . which leads us to the back gallery and work by Paul Mogensen, above left, and below


Paul Mogensen, No Title, 2013, acrylic and oil on canvas


Paul Mogensen,  No Title, 2014, oil on panel


Far wall: Rick Klauber, Western Swing, 2014, acrylic on cedar shims


Far wall and below: Regular Laugh Riot, 2014, acrylic on cedar shims . . .

 . . . with detail below



Klauber's Western Swing left; Mogensen's No Title, 2013


Mogensen's untitled Pink painting, left, and No Title, 2012 in black and white
In the distance, my painting, Chromatic Geometry 13,  which brings you back to the front gallery. The gallery entrance is on the right as you pass from the back gallery to the front

My Chromatic Geometry 13, 2013, encaustic on panel


Summer Invitational is at the Elizabeth Harris Gallery through July 25. The gallery is at 529 W. 20th Street. Additional information is here.

6.23.2014

Summer Group Shows


Summer is the time for groups shows, big and small. I'm thrilled to be in two: To Leo: A Tribute from the American Abstract Artists at Sideshow Gallery in Williamsburg, and the Summer Invitational at Elizabeth Harris Gallery, which opens on Thursday in Chelsea.  And I'm seeing a few others that look pretty great as well.

Summer Invitational, opening at Elizabeth Harris Gallery, Chelsea, on Thursday, June 26, 6:00-8:00 p.m., with Rick Klauber, Paul Mogensen, Gary Petersen, Sarah Walker, and myself. (Yes, of course, I'll post a narrated tour of the show)




Color as Structure at McKenzie Fine Art, on the Lower East Side. Sixteen artists, including Martha Clippinger, Jason Karolak, Rob de Oude, Deborah Zlotsky and Don Voisine, use color and define space in ways that are optical or physical
Here: Richard Roth sculpture





Sargent's Daughters: An Exploration of Women Artists Exploring the Legacy of John Singer Sargent at the eponymous Sargent's Daughters, also on the LES. Forty artists, including Jennifer Dalton, Joy Garnett, Sandi Sloan, Jackie Saccoccio
Here: Rebecca Campbell 





Summer Invitational at Life on Mars in Bushwick. I've been seeing some Facebook images posted by artists who've been creating work for this show, and it looks to be a big, raucous, kitchen-sink kind of show. I mean that in the best possible way. A few of the 67 participating artists: Katherine Bradford, Sharon Butler, Brenda Goodman, Loren Munk, Jason Rohlf, Anne Russinoff and Julie Torres


If you're in a summer group show, please share the info in the Comment Section below--but keep it brief: Your name, title of the show, gallery name and link.  (No press releases!)

6.17.2014

To Leo, A Tribute from American Abstract Artists



It was a lovely night for an opening. American Abstract Artists, the long-established group of painters and sculptors (to which I have just become a member) gathered at Sideshow Gallery in Williamsburg to celebrate Leo Rabkin, the nonagenarian past president of the organization. I have shown the work of many of the artists in this group here on my blog, but it was awesome--and I don't use that word often--to see so much great abstraction in the same place at the same time and  to engage in conversation with the artists who made it.


Leo Rabkin, who will give a talk this coming Saturday, June 21,
at 2:00 p.m. at Sideshow
Photo: Michael Phillips


Since I'm in the show, this is not a review but rather a tour. We begin on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, on the sidewalk outside the gallery. There would be a steady stream of people entering the gallery during the three-hour opening. The first few pictures orient you to the front gallery and give you a taste of the crowd. (I took most of the pictures. Credits for others are noted.)

Heading in


Entering the gallery:
Hey, is that Sharon Butler, painter and author of the Two Coats of Paint blog? Why yes, it is, and she posted a little sumthin about the show


The front gallery is large (entrance to it is beyond my right shoulder as I'm shooting). That's Nancy Manter waving. You'll see her work when you scroll down


Here in the front gallery, with Jason Andrew, owner of Norte Maar Gallery in Bushwick, in the yellow shirt, talking with Matthew Deleget, owner of Minus Space in DUMBO. We're looking toward the back gallery


Deleget at right, chatting with a friend. Stephen Westfall's striped Star is in the center of the wall
A few paintings down from Westfall is Don Voisine's Knot. Do you have a sense of the space? Not to worry if you don't.  I'm going to take you around the show. I arrived early to photograph, but the galleries filled up fast. And not being six feet tall (an understatement, no pun intended) there were paintings I wanted to shoot but just couldn't approach straight on



Starting just to the right of the entry: Katinka Mann relief sculpture (top), with work by Sharon Brant, David Row, and Nola Zirin


David Row, Untitled (DR944), oil on paper



Nancy Manter, Emily Berger (top) and Judith Murray; Mary Schiliro (top) and Manford Mohr

Below: Nancy Manter, Trim #1 - #3, charcoal on paper



Continuing down the long wall of the front gallery: Creighton Michael; Vera Vasek and Stephen Westfall, visible behind gallerygoers; Lynn Umlauf, Don Voisine, Richard Timperio


Creighton Michael, Vera Vasek, Irene Rousseau


We'll get to the back gallery in a moment, but let's continue around the front gallery. That's Richard Timperio's painting at left, Twistin, with the red and blue. On the right wall: Merrill Wagner, OO Leo


A selection of work by Leo Rabkin, including my favorite below; and work by Power Boothe (top) and Beatrice Reise 

Below: Rabkin's Flocked Wire in Green and Yellow



Boothe, Reise; James Juszcyzk, Cordy Ryman


Mon Levinson; Edwin Ruda (top) and Siri Berg;
Gertrude Greene, Balcomb Greene; a sliver of Tom Evans


Just to reorient you, as we turn around and head for the back gallery



Voisine, Timperio; Matthew Deleget, Gail Gregg, Jeanne Wilkinson video


Gregg; Kim Uchiyama and Steven Maine (both top); Alice Adams, James Gross, Mara Held, Corey Postiglione


Kim Uchiyama, Geo, oil on canvas


Panorama of three walls of the back gallery. Closer views below


Maine (top); Gross, Held, Postiglione; a selection of small work by Lorenza Sannai, Lucio Pozzi, Susan Smith, Tom Doyle, Cecily Kahn, and Raquel Rabinovich; Ce Roser


Corey Postiglione, Tango Spectrum #VII. acrylic and lightfast marker on canvas


Sannai, Pozzi, Smith, Doyle, Kahn, Rabinovitch

Below: Cecily Kahn, Walk, oil on linen on board




Corner left: Ce Roser
Back wall: Julian Jackson (top) and Phillis Ideal;  Ward Jackson; Henry Brown (top) and Irene A. Lawrence; Claire Seidl


Nephew and uncle: Julian Jackson, Collage in Red and Black, pasted papers, above; Ward Jackson, Interchange V, acrylic on canvas


Look who's talking to Gabrielle Evertz
Photo: Michael Phillips


Brown, Lawrence, Seidl; Thornton Willis (top), David Mackenzie; James O. Clark sculpture on floor
Right wall: Mark Dagley, Marthe Keller (top), John Obuck, Ilona Kleinhut, Marvin Brown


Seidl; Willis, Mackenzie; Clark sculpture

Below: John Obuck, Brickwall, oil on canvas



Jim Osman, Allowance, in foreground

Below: Invited artists from Le Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, a Paris-based organization founded by Robert and Sonia Delaunay in 1939 and focused, similarly, on the promotion of abstract art
From left: Richard van der Aa, Bogumila Strojna, Olivier di Pizio (top), Erik Levesque

Left wall: the four Réalités Nouvelles artists; right wall: Pinckney Herbert, Victor Kord


Osman in foreground, and Kord at left
Continuing around back wall: Anne Russinoff, Joanne Mattera,  Gilbert Hsaio
Right wall: Li Trincere (top), Susan Bonfils single work comprised of four pieces; Margaret Neill, Edward Shalala (top), Naomi Boretz


Steven Alexander; Gabrielle Evertz (top), John Phillips (middle), Jane Logemann (bottom); Vincent Longo (top), Mark Williams (bottom); Daniel G. Hill


Corner with Mattera, Hsaio; Trincere, Bonfils


Stephen Alexander, Palm 4, acrylic on canvas


Stephen Maine talking with Gilbert Hsaio, who is haloed by his own painting; foreground Daniel G, Hill,  #9704, acrylic on canvas
Photo: Michael Phillips


Pulling back to show you the way out



The long wall that unites both galleries


Walking into the front gallery, with the door at the far end
Photo: Michael Phillips


Back out on the street
Photo: Michael Phillips


To Leo, A Tribute from the American Abstract Artists runs through July 13 at Sideshow Gallery, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Leo Rabkin will give a talk at 2:00 in the gallery on Saturday, June 21

More on American Abstract Artists here